Well, for all you football fans, the season is finally here! The wait is over! After a long hot summer we can finally enjoy football games all week long. That’s right, all week long! Monday night football, Thursday night football, Friday night football, Saturday football, and Sunday football, it’s endless. I’m sorry for you wives and girlfriends who won’t be able to enjoy a nice dinner and movie date night with your man until January. A special apology goes out to my beautiful yet very understanding girlfriend, Sid, as I will be glued to the big screen or at the stadium watching one of the greatest games ever invented. 

What does football season bring? Well, it brings friends together, brings tailgating with good food, brings a big cooler full of beer, and last but not least it brings out that competitiveness in each of us. Now I’m a die-hard Packers’ fan (you can thank my dad for that). That might be a shock or even disappointment to some of you considering a majority of the people I know are Bears fans or some whacko team fan like the Dolphins or Raiders. In which case, I’d choose the Bear fan over you any day. 

Anyway, during football season you have your friends, your food, your beer, and your competitive edge and that’s all you need to enjoy the season. My old man and I would go out in our garage where we have a flat screen TV attached to the wall and eat chicken wings and drink beer while enjoying a good game. We’d mainly watch the Packers but during commercials we’d flip through channels to see how other teams were doing. We would see the Patriots cheating as always, the Panthers and their flashy quarterback who has more dance moves than football moves, and the Bears losing as usual. We always watched the games in the garage. It could be 100 degrees or 10 degrees, it didn’t matter, he wanted to feel like we were actually at the game enduring the weather without any heat or air conditioning. 

I love the game of football a lot. Ever since I was kid I just loved watching it and playing it for fun and once I got into high school I played it competitively. Now, I was never the best player on the team. I’m first to admit that I didn’t play much, but I loved the game so much that I didn’t care. Playing taught me to love the game even more and taught me some valuable lessons on hard work, responsibility, discipline, and teamwork. I believe it prepared me for the military and for life, because you need all of those in order to succeed in Army and the real world. I believe that there is no other place where a young man is held to a higher standard. The game of football is tough. It’s hard. It demands discipline. It teaches discipline. It builds character. The game asks each player to push himself further than he thought he could ever go. It changes his physical courage. It shows him what it means to sacrifice. It teaches him the importance of doing his job well. Each player will learn to put others first and to be part of something bigger than himself. And, learn to lift his teammates—and himself—up together. It prepares him for life. And I love it! I always liked to challenge myself and playing challenged myself in more ways than I thought it could. 

From simple observation, after taking pictures of the Herscher Tiger football teams’ practice last week, I could see the intensity and the fun all of the kids were having. I could see them learning and being motivated by the hard-driven coaches that will lead them to “battle” every Friday night. And for the first time in a long time, I’ll be on the sidelines. However I won’t be equipped with pads and a helmet but rather a camera and pen and paper. You’ll see me taking pictures and reporting under those Friday night lights, so you can be informed about any games you might be missing this year. I’m excited! And you should be too!

This Friday night, Herscher will be going up against the Momence Redskins where Momence will host Herscher to kick off the 2016 season. I hope to see you all there! And let’s have a great start to the new football season and make it enjoyable! Go Tigers!